The 2018 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup is back for a second weekend in a row! Last weekend Papendal, the Netherlands was highlighted by medals and main event finishes for the Aussies, now it’s time to back up for more.
Before everything gets underway, here’s an event preview, PLUS a few key things to help you through the weekend!
EVENT: Rounds five and six of the 2018 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup
LOCATION: Circuit Zolder BMX – located in Heusden-Zolder, a municipality in the Belgian province of Limberg, near Hasselt.
Zolder is also famous for hosting 10 editions of the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix, beginning in 1973, then 1975-1982 and 1984.
WHEN IT’S ON: Live coverage of round three will begin at 9:30pm AEST on Saturday May 12, with round four’s coverage commencing at 8:45pm this Sunday, May 13.
WHERE TO WATCH: The action from the weekend will be live streamed on YouTube. The players are embedded below and will be shared again prior to the event tonight.
WHAT HAPPENED IN ZOLDER IN 2017:
Close, but not close enough for Aussies Anthony Dean and Lauren Reynolds! Rounds three and four of the 2017 series were in Zolder, and in the opening stanza two-time Olympian Reynolds and 2016 Olympic finalist Dean both finished fourth in the respective women and men’s finals.
The queen of BMX and dual Olympic champion Mariana Paojon of Colombia won the women’s event, with Simone Tetsche Christensen (Denmark) and Stefany Hernandez (Venezuela) third. In the men’s event Olympic champ Connor Fields (USA) won the chocolates, Dutchman Dave van der Burg was second, while Latvia’s Edzus Treimanis was third.
Round four proved a tougher task for the Aussies. Bodi Turner in 10thwas our top male, Leanna Curtis in 20ththe top female.
Twan van Gendt from the Netherlands won the men’s race from Sylvain Andre and Romain Mahieu. World Cup powerhouse Laura Smulders, also of the Netherlands won the women’s event with Christensen and Hernandez again taking second and third.
THE BEST RECORD IN PAPENDAL
Three rounds in the recent past, three winners in both men and women’s competition. The above winners aside, Dutchman Niek Kimman won the men’s event in 2015, Hernandez the women’s event.
NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
Colombian Mariana Pajon is out. The 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist – the greatest Olympian her country has ever seen – is likely to miss the rest of the season. At last Sunday’s world cup in Papendal she tore left knee ligaments when she went down at the start of her semi-final heat.
It’s not good news, and no one likes seen a champion sidelined.=
AUSSIES TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Last week we said that there was not much more to say about 18-year-old Saya Sakakibara…then she grabbed a fifth and another medal, bronze, in Papendal. Sakakibara has now also become our top-ranked female, sitting 14thin the world rankings.
Needless to say, keep an eye on her yet again.
Anthony Dean also grabbed a fifth spot in Papendal, his return to world cup action for the year. The men’s contest is incredibly tough and fickle results-wise this season, so Dean along with fellow South Australian Shane Rosa, Andrew Hughes, Jye Hombsch and 2018 Australian elite men’s champion Brandon Te Hiko will have to bring their A-game.
Last week Max Cairns, Adam Carey and Izaac Kennedy also joined the Aussie fray and will be using a little Papendal experience to push for greater results in Zolder this weekend.
The ACT’s Harriet Burbidge-Smith also lines up again, having clocked up plenty of frequent flyer miles already this year. After racing in rounds one and two of the world cup in France, she returned home for round two of the BMXA National Series, before jetting off again for Europe. That’s dedication.
Also taking part in the action this weekend is 16-years competitor Des’ree Barnes (Queensland) who will be taking part in the challenge class racing.
CURRENT TOP 10 RANKED RIDERS IN THE WORLD
(15) Kai Sakakibara – Australia
(14) Saya Sakakibara – Australia
COVER PIC: LUXBMX/RACE